Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) Pray for a Persecuted Church
 Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA)Pray for a Persecuted Church

Latest News

Hindu Nationalists Incite Animists to Attack Christians in India.

Jan 13 Morning Star News

Six Christian families were worshipping in a wood-and-hay structure in eastern India last month when an influential man of wealth wielding an axe led others in and, in coarse language, asked why they had abandoned their tribal religion.
Elder Burjo Tadinji of the church in Odisha state’s Chichima village, answered, “We have known the true living God; we will not leave him. We used to indulge in fights and speak lies, but we do not do all that now. We like this faith, and that is why we follow it.”
Outraged, the leader of the mob of 20-25 men from three different villages began swinging the axe on the church structure, according to pastor Bibudhan Pradhan, who normally leads the small congregation of 15 but was absent that day (Dec. 13).
“They manhandled the Christians, damaged [an adjacent] Christian home, and broke the thatched structure with the axe,” Pastor Pradhan, 48, told Morning Star News...... 

Pressure Increases on Indian Christians as Prayer Meetings Come Under Police Scrutiny.

Jan 8 Barnabas Aid

PIndian police in Shahjahanpur district, Uttar Pradesh state, have been instructed to keep a watch on prayer meetings after five Christians were accused of trying to “unlawfully” convert people to Christianity.
The order was issued by a regional police superintendent after five Christians were brought to authorities by members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hard-line Hindu group.
The Christians allegedly violated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, which came into force in November 2020. The new anti-conversion law prohibits “conversion of religion through: force, misrepresentation, undue influence, and allurement, or fraud, or marriage”. It also prohibits “abetting, convincing, and conspiring to such conversions”.
The instructions given to police stations were to be aware of prayer meetings in their area and to.....

Archbishop Machado: Many are challenging the anti-conversion law.  

Jan 7 Asia News

RLast Sunday, a gang of Bajrang Dal men attacked a Christian clergyman in Shahjahanpur, a district in the State of Uttar Pradesh, during a prayer meeting.
According to The Hindu newspaper, Rev David, who hails from Tirunelveli in Kerala and a group of local people, including women and children, had gathered in a garden for prayer to mark the first Sunday of the New Year when men stormed the premises and disrupted the activity.
After the Bajrang Dal members filed a complaint, local police charged the pastor and four others under the new anti-conversion law.
“This is a special ordinance,” said Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai, but “there is a groundswell of public opinion against it. “Legal luminaries, eminent intellectuals, are questioning the legal validity of this ordinance, which touches the core of the constitution”,
For the prelate, who is also.....

Latest News

Police on alert after conversion claim in Indian state.

Jan 6 UCA News

Police in an Indian state have directed officers to keep a watch on prayer gatherings after five Christians were arrested on a charge of religious conversion.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hardline Hindu group, handed the five Christians to police in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh state, which is run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“It is just an allegation from the fanatic groups and if they are sure about it, let them prove it. People are free to express their views in a democratic country,” Father Harold D' Cunha, vicar general of Bareilly Diocese, told UCA News.
“As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, it does not promote or propagate religious conversion in the diocese as well as in the country.
'Occasionally, these groups blame us for conversions....' 

Persecution set to rise in India and China in 2021. 

Dec 29 Christian Today

Persecution has been widespread across India and China even during the pandemic, but things are only likely to get worse in 2021, Release International has warned.
The charity, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, says that China has "bought the silence of the international community" through trade relations.
This year has continued to see unregistered churches in the country raided or forced to close.
There is increasing surveillance as authorities in some areas have forced registered churches to install CCTV cameras.
Christians also report some churches having to put up posters proclaiming communist beliefs. 
"The government of President Xi Jinping is increasing its 'clean up' of anything that does not advance the communist agenda," Release partners said....

Hardline Hindus in India want Christmas banned.

Dec 24 Christian Today

Hardline Hindus have petitioned the authorities in India to stop Christians from celebrating Christmas.
In a letter sent to authorities in Gujarat they ask that police take action to halt prayer meetings and Christian events planned for the christmas season, Open Doors says. 
The letter states: "Heartily we are requesting to you, not to give permission to these people to celebrate Christmas.
"If anyone comes to you to get the permission, kindly ask them for on paper Christian Religion certificate.
"If you will not take any action regarding this then Anti-National activity in this area will increase and the responsibility will be yours."
Jan Vermeer, Asia communications director for Open Doors, said the letter was yet another attempt.....

Latest News

Christian woman beaten, forced to drink pesticide after husband finds Bibles.

Dec 21 Christian Post

A Muslim man in eastern Uganda, who said the Quran allows men to beat their wives if they disobey them, beat his 38-year-old wife, who is a mother of three, and forced her to drink pesticide after he found two Bibles in her suitcase, according to a report.
The man, identified as Umar Kyakulaga from Uganda’s Bugiri District’s Matovu village, asked his wife, Zubeda Nabirye, if she had converted to Christianity, and Nabirye replied that she was reading the Bible to compare it with what is written in the Quran, according to Morning Star News, a nonprofit that regularly reports on global Christian persecution.
The woman had two Bibles, one in English and the other in their tribal language."I was convicted and decided to embrace Christianity," Nabirye was quoted as telling her husband. “My husband began reading verses in the Quran that allowed men to beat their wives if they disobey them......” 

India violates commitment to protect minorities.

Dec 19 Matters India 

We observe Minority Rights on December 18. It is time we critically examined how India empowers and protects the rights of minorities.
There is no internationally agreed definition as to which groups constitute minorities. Francesco Capotorti, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, in 1977 defined a minority community as a group numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a country.
They could possess ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics differing from the rest of the population. They could also show a sense of solidarity to preserve their culture, traditions, religion or language.
In 1992, the United Nations adopted this definition based on national or ethnic, cultural, religious identity. The international body expects the States to protect the minority communities....

BJP’s political ideology: Pragya Singh Thakur.

Dec 17 Matters India 

TPragya Singh Thakur is no ordinary member of BJP, the ruling dispensation in the country. She is an MP from Bhopal and was also made the member of defense committee before she was removed from that committee for her statement hailing Nathuram Godse.
She first came to lime light after the Malegaon blasts, in which six people were killed. Hemant Karkare, the police officer who was killed in 26/11 (2008) attack was investigating the case and he came across the fact that the motor cycle used in Malegaon blast was previously owned by Thakur. That led to her arrest and unearthing of the plot in which many were arrested. She is currently under bail on medical grounds.
Then she came to prominence as she stated that Karkare had tortured her and it is due to her shap (curse) that Karkare got killed. Under pressure from top, she withdrew this statement. After this she went to state that....

Latest News

No arrest in connection with the attack against statues of the Virgin Mary and Mother Teresa in West Bengal.

Dec 12 Asia News

Two plaster statues of the Virgin were smashed whilst the concrete statue of Mother Teresa was damaged. Police and the Minorities minister expressed solidarity. For Bishop Shyamal Bose: “This attack is puzzling. People of different faiths keep statues of Mother Teresa in their homes. Many NGOs and non-Christian clubs are named after Mother Teresa.” She is “an inspiration for her commitment to serve the poor”.
Two weeks after two statues of the Virgin Mary were smashed to bits and a statue of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta damaged at the Sacred Heart parish church in Morapai (diocese of Baruipur), local Catholics are still wondering why no one has been arrested in connection with these acts of vandalism.
The statues were in two grottoes outside the church on parish land next to the road. “Two of the statues were removed from the grottoes ......” 

Pastor in India Locked in Room and Left to Die.

Dec 10 Morningstar News 

Hindu nationalists beat him and steal his vehicle.
The last thing pastor Shelton Vishwanathan recalled happening before he lost consciousness in a village in northeast India was Hindu extremists threatening to offer him as a sacrifice to their god as they belted his head.
“They punched my back and told me that they would offer me as a sacrifice to their deity as a punishment for distributing gospel tracts,” he told Morning Star News. “They struck severe blows on my head, so that I soon fainted.”
When the six radical Hindus first stopped him and told him to quit handing out tracts in Tiryani village, in Bihar state’s Sheohar District on Oct. 5, he had told them “Fine” and was about to go on his way when one of them seized the keys from his scooter, took away his phone and signalled the others to attack him, he said.
When he regained consciousness, he found himself locked in a dark room.....

Long Ostracized Christian Withstands New Level of Persecution in India

Dec 8 Morningstar News 

Chhattisgarh a growing flash point for violations of religious freedom.
 Representatives of eight village councils in central India first summoned a new Christian to give him an ultimatum in October.
They interrupted a church service on Oct. 18 asking for Sattar Singh Markam.
“I was conducting the church service when some men came to call Markam and asked him to present himself before the council,” pastor Chitrasen Sahu told Morning Star News. “He went to see them after the church service was over.”
At the joint meeting in Bargaon, in Chhattisgarh state’s Gariaband District, they told Markam to renounce Christ or “leave with your Christian faith and never come back,” Pastor Sahu said.
Markham, who was suffering three epileptic seizures a day before he put his faith in Christ 12 years ago, told them the Lord had healed him and given him life and that he would never turn...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

December 8, 2020. Washington, D.C – The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA), an advocacy group that promotes religious freedom, expressed its deep disappointment with the U.S. Administration for their lack of resolve in naming India to the "Countries of Particular Concern" (CPCs).

 

Although the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended in their 2020 Annual Report to place India on the CPC list, the Trump Administration appeared to lack the political will.

 

The USCIRF report cited that in 2019, India's religious freedom conditions experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault. The national government allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity and engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence.

 

The Indian government headed by the Hindu nationalist BJP party continues to claim so conveniently that all such violence against Christians in India are isolated incidents and not the policy of the government.

 

While it may not be the policy of the Indian government, it is public knowledge that it is the policy of Prime Minister Modi's Hindu nationalist political party in power.

 

The Trump administration that showboats its advocacy for religious freedom in America, especially on behalf of Christians, appears to have thrown the religious freedom of Indian Christians and other minorities under the bus in India. Only time will tell what has motivated President Trump to instruct the State Department to keep India's violations of fundamental human rights off the table during his entire term in office. FIACONA strongly disagrees with the President in his misplaced decision yesterday.

 

FIACONA also hopes that the incoming Biden administration would take a more closer look at India's record in this regard and respond appropriately.

However, FIACONA is encouraged to see that the State Department has added Nigeria to the CPC list and expresses our deep appreciation to the USCIRF for their recommendations.

Latest News

BJP leads reconversion of Christian families in India.

Dec 4 UCA News

Christian leader slams Hindu move as unconstitutional and an attack on marginalized groups
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has reconverted 23 people from five Christian families to Hinduism.
A reconversion ceremony on Nov. 29 was organized by Anant Kumar Hegde, a BJP leader and MP for Uttara Kannada district.
“Hegde was handpicked by the Hindutva hierarchy to create communal divisions and tension in the coastal belt of Karnataka,” Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told UCA News.
“After BJP victories in the 2014 and 2019 general elections, the Sangh Parivar [fanatic group] moved with the speed and cunning of a barracuda to attack and weaken the  ...” 

Christians in Hiding after Brutal Mob Attack in Central India. 

Dec 3 Morningstar News

Assault sends 21 guests at dedication celebration to various hospitals.
Several families are in hiding after tribal animists in Chhattisgarh state, India threatened to kill them for reporting a mob attack to police last week that sent 21 Christians to hospitals, sources said.
Armed with bamboo sticks, iron rods, bows and arrows and iron sickles, the large mob at 1 a.m. on Nov. 25 attacked a home and adjoining church hall in Chingrwaram village, Sukma District, where Christians had celebrated a child dedication the previous evening. Some 20-25 friends and family were sleeping in the home and another 25-30 in the church hall when the villagers, many of them drunk, attacked while accusing the Christians of converting people and celebrating with loud music. .....

Twenty-three Christians forced to convert to Hinduism in India by Modi's party workers

Dec 3 Asia News

India’s Christian community has condemned the verbal attacks by nationalist leaders during the “reconversion” to Hinduism of 23 Christians, in all five Christian families, in a ceremony held last Sunday in Haliyal Taluk (Karnataka) that was attended by Anant Kumar Hegde, a lawmaker with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
During the event there was an “outcry against the missionaries,” but this is “just propaganda designed to mobilise people for the Hindutva cause,” said Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), speaking to AsiaNews.
The 'Ghar Wapsi’ (homecoming) ceremony saw former BJP lawmaker, Suneel Hegde, hand over a saffron flag, the official symbol of Hinduism,  ...

Get involved and show the world you matter.

Optional
* indicates required
Tweets from Indian American Christians @Fiacona_us
Print Print | Sitemap
© FIACONA - All Rights Reserved